Drugs, Sport, Parents & Athletes
In the current news, we are hearing about the trials and tribulations of performance enhancing drugs. The NFL, NBA, MLB, Tour Le France, etc. Another challenge for youth sport parents, coaches and athletes. No surprise to you and me this is also taking place in the high school and middle school age sport youth; and sadly your athlete may be among them.
Supplements and performance drugs are used to boost athletic performance, delay fatigue, enhance physical appearance, increase strength and muscle mass. Sounds great, but there are serious draw backs that will last long into the future of our youth. Lets take a look at some of these popular supplements and drugs.
Anabolic steroids Basically synthetic testosterone. It builds muscle and strength. They can slow or halt bone growth and damage the heart and liver.
Steroid precursors Used to increase muscle mass by using DHEA and Andro substances. You can read DHEA as an ingredient in a lot of over the counter health food store products. Again, can cause heart, liver and bone damage.
Creatine This is already in the body but can be added as a supplement as an over the counter product from health food stores. Used to enhance recovery from training and to increase muscle mass and strength. Can cause weight gain, muscle cramping and vomiting. Can be harmful to the liver.
Why do young athletes take them?
· Lack of positive body image
· Peer pressure from other athletes
· Advice from sport parents
· As seen on television
· Pressure to perform
· Poor advice from the coaching staff
What we can do?
·Communication with the coach, sport parents and athletes. It needs to be out in the open.
·Education--use examples of the damage it has done to athletes' bodies, careers and reputations.
·Understand the ramifications for athletic scholarships.
·Sport parents need to unify their expectations for each other and their athletes.
·Observe for abuse of drugs and supplements, watch for male pattern baldness and acne. Observe moody or angry outbursts. If you can tell the difference with normal teen hormones, good luck!
·Females taking on male characteristics, deep voice, dark facial hair.
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